Friday, January 23, 2009

A quick trip to the University of Gotland

Visby, Sweden

University of Gotland logoLast summer I went to Visby to serve as a juror at the Gotland Game Awards, hosted by the University of Gotland. We've been talking about setting up a more permanent arrangement, in which I'll formally become part of the faculty. Because I was in Sweden anyway to visit another of my favorite universities, I flew out to Gotland for a couple of days. I gave the students my Fundamentals of Game Design workshop and another lecture, and had some meetings with folks to discuss plans for the future.

Photo of students at workshopWhen there are too many teams in my workshop to do a detailed presentation, I have each team make a sales poster instead, and show it to the group along with a short pitch. Here one of the teams is working on a game about saving whales. The approach they took was to let the player be a mermaid -- more of a siren, really -- who lures the whaling ships to their doom. I had in mind something more like Greenpeace and their zodiacs, but you can never tell what novice game designers are going to do.